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Technology summary:

Since this is nerd stuff, here is a rundown of my technology.

Main computer: System 76 Gazelle running Pop OS 21.10.

It’s a great laptop, I’ve had for about four years, after buying it used on EBay. It works well. I like Gnome now (took me a while to warm up to) and it’s a nice machine. It’s a bit big and clunky so I don’t carry it around that much.

Backup laptop: 2009 13” Macbook Air running Ubuntu 21.10.

It’s slow, and the battery is lousy, but it fits in my bag more easily, so I’ll take it out to cafes some times for writing with fewer distractions. When I go to cafes, which hasn’t been that often for the last two years. (Oh my gosh. I am so ready for the pandemic to end. I’m vaccinated and boosted, so we’re done, right?) Studio Computer: A desktop running Manjaro XFCE.

Runs well. Manjaro is my default second choice OS. For some reason I could not get this desktop to work with any Ubuntu-based USB installation medium. But it works well with Manjaro!

Phone: Pixel 3A.

I let my iPhone go a couple of years ago in favor of the Pixel and I appreciate being able to manipulate my data so much more easily, as in plug it into my computer and transfer files, do a simple text message backup, etc. I am no fan of Google, so I don’t have it connected to a Google account, and I use NetGuard to lock down some of the internet access on the part of various apps and system processes. I install apps using FDroid and Aurora Store. I hope that makes it a little more secure, but there is no easy to use phone that’s even semi-secure without installing your own OS, as far as I know. This seems like a bad situation, but I can’t fix it.

Ebook: Kobo Clara E-Reader.

It’s pretty good. I like that I can load EPUB (if they don’t have DRM) directly onto it, unlike a Kindle. I do miss the Kindle page turn buttons though. I always like more physical buttons. It works with OverDrive, so I can sync library books to it, which is what I use it for the most. Distraction Free Typing: Alphasmart Neo, my favorite.

Simple for typing offline, with a good keyboard (better than any laptop). You plug it into your computer and it pours your writings into a text document. I love it for brain dumps and journaling.

RIP Tiny Netbook

Sadly, my 2009 Dell Inspiron Netbook no longer boots. I miss that little buddy for writing out in the world. I am craving a new tiny netbook to run Linux, but am trying not to be frivolous and ridiculous. Salute to my old friend Barry who is now suffering early Alzheimers, but helped me get that netbook set up as a Hackintosh, and dual boot it with Linux Mint. Such a kind, nerdy soul.

Other cool gadgets: Palm M500 and foldable keyboard.

Palm M500 PDA with Palm keyboard and bonus, Wancai Mini fountain pen

For writing offline, but with more ability to control multiple files. Also plays a few cute games. So fun and portable. It packs down into a little pen holder pouch and I take it in my bag on the go.

Music: A fifteen year old iPod.

The old kind with the wheel and the 250GB capacity, which plugs into a simple logitech speaker. That is the superior iPod, by far. Holds a ton of music and doesn’t fall prey to the nightmare that is apps, software updates, software obsolescence and so on, with limited harddrive space.

Cables Vs Wireless

Overall, I use cables as much as I can instead of wireless, plug my laptop into Ethernet, and avoid bluetooth. I do use a bluetooth keyboard once in a while with my phone, but I find that wireless is usually slower and more of a hassle to manage, so I just like to plug stuff in.

Okay. Tomorrow I’ll talk about how technology makes me feel insane, and maybe fountain pens and notebooks another day. Hasta mañana!